Marvel’s “Daredevil” review: Netflix version better than 2003 film

Marvel's Daredevil has been a success due to the action sequences, performances, and the darker tone. Photo Courtesy: Lemaroto
Marvel’s Daredevil has been a success due to the action sequences, performances, and darker tone. Photo Courtesy: Lemaroto

By Alex Gustafson

Marvel’s “Daredevil”, a series which had its first season made available to Netflix subscribers on April 10, 2015, received a five-star rating from the online streaming service in its first season.

Developed by Drew Goddard and written by “Spartacus” creator Stephen S. DeKnight, Daredevil emanates similarities to both the 2003 feature film starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Collin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan and the television film “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk“. The costume from the television film is similar to the one wore by Matthew Murdock throughout the majority of the season. In the season finale, a costume similar to the one worn by  Ben Affleck in the movie is donned by Charlie Cox’s interpretation of the blind lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Both versions of the character are able to “see” when it is raining and viewers are shown Murdock’s blindness as a visual “world on fire”.

I found Charlie Cox’s performance as the titular character more convincing than Affleck’s because of the exploration into Murdock’s past to see his training by Stick, to see that the Daredevil persona is beatable by inferior opponents other than the Kingpin humanizing the character. The comradery of secondary characters Foggy Nelson (Matt’s college roommate and partner at his law firm aptly named Nelson and Murdock) and Karen Page (Matt’s primary love interest from the comics) provides viewers with both comedic relief and somewhat of a secondary story-line: Foggy and Karen and New York Bulletin reporter Ben Urich attempt to connect the dots to figure out who is behind a string of events going on in Hell’s Kitchen. I found Vincent D’Onofrio’s interpretation of Wilson Fisk more compelling than Clarke Duncan’s because of the chance to look at his journey from being a weak adolescent boy to a powerful and violent businessman who often gets what he asks for. Rosario Dawsons character of Claire Temple, a hospital nurse who helps stitch up Murdock after his nights out watching over Hell’s Kitchen. Dawson’s performance was lackluster, but I feel that was because of her character’s arc for the season. Initially interpreted as a possible girlfriend for Matt Murdock, Claire decides against exploring this path with Murdock with the fear of Matt dying while out on patrol.

I am looking forward to Marvel’s “Daredevil being renewed for a second season following this excellent performance in its rookie season.